Originally known as ‘Sugar Cos’, Little Gem is so widely regarded it is sold by that name in the shops and has become a generic term for this type of small-hearted cos lettuce. Few match the flavour and texture of this much-loved and widely grown original. One of the best lettuces you are likely to grow, it has the Royal Horticultural’s Award of Garden Merit. Lettuces do best of all in fairly light, fertile, well-drained soil, especially when well-rotted organic matter has been added to improve moisture retention. An open, sunny site is best. They will not thrive on poor soils which dry out during summer.
A Best Buy variety as recommended by the Gardening Press and Consumer Groups.
Outdoors: sow thinly, March-July where they are to crop, 1.5cm (½”) deep, directly into finely-prepared, fertile, moisture-retentive soil, which has already been watered. Allow 25cm (10″) between rows. Early sowings may benefit from cloche protection. Seedlings usually appear in 7-14 days. Thin out to 15cm (6″) apart. Water well until plants are established. Regular sowings, made every two to three weeks, will ensure a continuous supply. Harvest: May-October.
Lettuces are a good source of Vitamins A and C.